Innovation In Wastewater Management

An increase in population especially in urban areas in New Zealand has led to a significant increase in the amount of wastewater. This has necessitated the upcoming of ‘smart’ efforts to facilitate its management. Some of the efforts that are intended to reduce the impact of the wastewater include the thermal hydrolysis, better tertiary treatment practices, and improved aeration and digestion processes.

Timothy Phelan, a sector leader in water and wastewater treatment at Opus proposed the need for innovations to deal with large amounts of wastewater. Some of these innovations include Granular Sludge technology, which aims to make the process more efficient so more processing can occur without requiring scaling up of the facility. Opus is also interested in energy capture using methane and carbon dioxide, which is produced as a sludge digestion by-product. In addition to this method, thermal hydrolysis, pH hydrolysis and electro-magnetic hydrolysis are other effective treatment of wastewater. These technologies reduce the waste’s mass and increase energy recovery. Since these techniques have been proven to be highly effective in some regions of Europe, they are bound to bring progress to New Zealand’s wastewater management.

Wastewater management experts have stated that majority of the current processes are from the 20th century and are inefficient. The processes focus on treatment and discharge of the wastewater only, whereas firms in the industry should be aiming to use wastewater to create value. For instance, the wastewater can be used as an energy source or even potential nutrient recovery resource. New wastewater technologies are increasingly looking to do this. Moreover, there is greater awareness of the environmental impact of wastewater discharge, which is leading to a drive for energy efficiency and recycling.

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